What are the other lessons about courage besides the Tom Robinson case that can be found in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Many different examples of courage can be found throughout the novel. Although both Tom and Atticus display courage before, during and after the trial, perhaps the most obvious examples of personal bravery comes on Halloween night when Jem attempts to defend Scout from their attacker, and Boo Radley comes to their rescue to kill Bob Ewell. Atticus displays courage throughout the story. He takes on the Tom Robinson case, knowing it will bring trouble to his family. He takes up the rifle once again in order to defend his neighborhood from the mad dog, and he is willing to stand alone against the lynch mob in order to defend Tom. The children show their own courage, perhaps unknowingly, when they remain beside Atticus at the jail. Newspaper editor B. B. Underwood's bravery is also evident when he silently sits above the jail, ready to defend Atticus; later, he risks the ire of the town by defending Tom once again in his editorial following Tom's death. Jem exhibits a childlike form of courage by continuously trying to catch a glimpse of Boo Radley--by trying "to make him come out"--despite the fear the children have of their "malevolent phantom" neighbor. Mr. Avery risks injury by trying to save as many of Miss Maudie's possessions as possible on the night of her house fire, and Boo braves the weather and risks being seen by neighbors when he places the blanket on Scout's shoulders for warmth. And then there is Mrs. Dubose, whose own kind of unusual courage in trying to rid herself of her morphine addiction before her death leads Atticus to call her "the bravest person I ever knew."


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